One of the surprising outcome of that sad episode (or, was it just a coincidence?) is the sudden flight of depositors' money to a virtual currency, Bitcoin. Now, I know many readers may not be familiar with this modern invention. In fact, no one knows who invented Bitcoin. To read up on it, go here.
Henry Blodget, the Editor-in-chief of Clusterstock, half-jokingly put a price target of USD400 for a bitcoin (closed at USD191 as at April 8). He explained that it is entirely possible why Bitcoin to be a perfect bubble because it has four 'good' attributes, namely:
Timothy B. Lee- a contributor to Forbes & an associate writer to ars technica - feels that Bitcoin is worth studying. To wit:
As Adam Ozimek points out Bitcoin has so far largely been greeted with eye-rolling by professional economists. One reason is that the cryptocurrency’s most enthusiastic advocates tend to subscribe to a hard-money, end-the-Fed worldview that is unpopular among elites. That has caused the latter to reflexively take the opposite view, treating Bitcoin as primarily a monetary policy experiment and predicting its doom.
My sympathies are with the pros here. Fiat currency isn’t perfect, but I think alternatives like the gold standard would be worse. But Bitcoin is a more than a gold standard for the Internet age. It’s the world’s first fully decentralized payment system, combining the irreversibility of cash with the convenience of electronic payment. There’s never been anything quite like it before, and as a result it poses a number of interesting intellectual puzzles. Here are four examples.
Will Bitcoin morph into an alternative currency? Or, is it just a perfect bubble- in the same league as the Tulip mania- that would grow & grow until it goes bust? Only time will tell.
Chart 1: Bitcoin's weekly price chart as at April 8, 2013 (Source: Bitcoincharts.com)
If you believe that Bitcoin is a search for an alternative currency, surely there is a good enough alternative right in front of us - Gold. Strangely, Gold has been consolidating in a descending triangle (see Chart 2 below) while Bitcoin has been rising exponentially (see Chart 1 above). In a world flooded with money, Gold - like any other hard assets that cannot be duplicated- must increase in value. If that premise holds true, then Gold price should not break below the current strong horizontal support at USD1530-1550. It could eventually break to the upside of the triangle (at USD1750) and continue its uptrend.
Again, only time will tell whether this will pan out or not.
Chart 2: Gold's weekly price chart as at April 8, 2013 (Source: Stockcharts)
In addition to the disclaimer in the preamble to my blog, I hereby confirm that I do not have any relevant interest in, or any interest in the acquisition or disposal of, Bitcoin.